Edmonton should allow Internet voting for advance and special ballots in next October’s civic election, a report released Thursday recommends. The proposal, following more than a year of study that included a test “jelly bean election” and the verdict of a citizen jury, would make Edmonton the first western Canadian city where candidates can be chosen online. “If people are able-bodied (and) they just can’t get out to vote on election day, they don’t qualify for the special ballot. How do they vote?” asked city clerk Alayne Sinclair. “We might open the doors for more people.”
The administration originally considered making an Internet option available only for special ballots, used by about 500 residents in the 2010 election who had mobility problems or were working on the vote. But the province and the 17-member citizen jury suggested allowing anyone who wants to take part in the advanced poll, starting almost two weeks before the Oct. 20 election, to register and pick their candidates online.
… The Municipal Affairs department will have to amend its regulations to allow the change, which is also being considered by Strathcona County, St. Albert, Grande Prairie and other municipalities. City council will discuss the issue Wednesday. The move would cost $400,000, but most of that expense will be covered by a provincial grant.
An online city survey done last fall showed three-quarters of the 400 respondents agree Edmonton should provide the option of Internet voting. More than nine out of 10 people who opposed it were concerned about security.
Full Article: Internet voting option proposed for Edmonton civic election.